Timeline of Airbnb

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The content on this page is forked from the English Wikipedia page entitled "Timeline of Airbnb". The original page still exists at Timeline of Airbnb. The original content was released under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License (CC-BY-SA), so this page inherits this license. This page has been edited significantly on the Timelines Wiki after forking and may differ significantly from the current version on Wikipedia.
The timeline currently offers focused coverage of the period until September 2019. It is likely to miss important developments outside this period (particularly after this period) though it may have a few events from after this period.

This is a timeline of Airbnb, a website for people to rent out lodging, and the associated company.

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
October 2007 – January 2009 Conception, bootstrapping The initial concept is created by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. They launch the website. To raise money, they sell cereal boxes for Barack Obama and John McCain, candidates for the 2008 United States presidential election.
January 2009 – December 2010 Angel and venture funding, beginning of business takeoff Airbnb becomes part of the Winter 2009 Y Combinator class. The business grows steadily. Brian Chesky moves out of his own apartment to live off Airbnb for three months. In November 2010, Airbnb raises $7.2 million in venture funding.
January 2011 – April 2014 (mostly), partly ongoing International expansion, more fundraising, steady growth Airbnb begins operations in many cities around the world, and continues to grow steadily in usage.
January 2014 – present User experience, peace with the law, partnerships, more fundraising Airbnb redesigns its logo, launches new apps and an improved user experience, and strikes deals with city authorities in San Francisco and other cities that would make its service legally recognized while also requiring it to tax rentals. Airbnb also begins offering $1 million in insurance to both parties in its rental transactions. By June 2015, the total money raised by the company to-date is $2.3 billion, of which $1.5 billion was in the most recent round. It also starts partnerships with Handy, Concur, and Deutsche Telekom.
2015 – 2017 Business ethics, humanitarianism Airbnb introduces its million-dollar host insurance policy, a major investment which commits the company to reducing the risk for hosts and improving its business model. Following the same moral compass, in 2016 Airbnb implements a Nondiscrimination Policy to legislate its commitment to equal consumer rights and treatment, further solidifying the moral prerogative of the company.[1] In 2017, Airbnb launches its Open Homes platform, an initiative aimed at providing short-term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need.
2018 Recognition Airbnb climbs the ranks. The Wyse Travel Confederation ranks Airbnb third on the list of online accommodation sellers, leaving behind an already massive industry saturated with options. In the same year, Forbes declares Airbnb to be both the first and the most successful sharing economy in tourism.[1]

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
2007 October Idea creation Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia create the initial concept for AirBed & Breakfast during the Industrial Design Conference held by Industrial Designers Society of America.[2] The original site offers short-term living quarters, breakfast and a unique business networking opportunity for attendees who were unable to book a hotel in the saturated market.[3] Chesky and Gebbia themselves use Airbnb to help meet the rent for their loft in San Francisco.[4]
2008 February Team Harvard University graduate and technical architect Nathan Blecharczyk joins as the third co-founder of AirBed & Breakfast.[5]
2008 August 11 Product The Airbedandbreakfast.com website launches.[6]
2008 August–November Funding In order to raise enough seed money to sustain their business, Airbnb sells cereal boxes for Barack Obama and John McCain.[7] They sell 800 boxes at $40 each, netting $30,000 in funding for the company.[8] Their most successful single sale event is the Democratic National Convention in November 2008.[9]
2009 January Funding Airbnb is accepted into Y Combinator's Winter 2009 batch and receives $20,000 in funding.[10][11] Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham says that even though he is not a fan of Airbnb's idea, he is impressed by their creative methods for bootstrapping their funding situation by selling cereal.[9][12]
2009 March Product The website name is shortened from Airbedandbreakfast.com to Airbnb.com, and the site's content has expanded from air beds and shared spaces to a variety of properties including entire homes and apartments, private rooms, castles, boats, manors, tree houses, tipis, igloos, private islands and other properties.[13]
2010 June 21 Team In response to increasing overcrowding at his residence, that is doubling up as an Airbnb office, co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky decides to move out of his apartment and live using Airbnb for a few months.[14]
2010 November Financial Airbnb receives $7.2 million in Series A funding from Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital, and announces that out of 700,000 nights booked, 80% had occurred in the past six months.[15]
2011 February Usage milestone Airbnb announces its 1 millionth booking since the website launch in August 2008.[16][17]
2011 March 16–17 Financial Venture capitalist Fred Wilson publishes a blog post saying that his firm's decision not to invest in Airbnb was a mistake.[18] The next day, Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham publishes (with permission) correspondence between himself and Fred Wilson about the possibility of Wilson investing in Airbnb.[19]
2011 May 25 Endorsement Actor and partner at A-Grade Investments, Ashton Kutcher, announces a significant investment in the company and his role as a strategic brand advisor for the company.[20]
2011 May 31 Acquisition, international expansion Airbnb acquires Accoleo, a small German clone of its service, thereby expanding to Germany.[21][22]
2011 June 29 – August 1 Controversy, missteps A woman, writing online under the name EJ, wrote on her blog that she had rented her apartment out using Airbnb and found that it was completely trashed with many of her valuable personal items stolen.[23] The post was picked up on Hacker News and by Michael Arrington for TechCrunch.[24][25] Airbnb investor Paul Graham wrote a note defending Airbnb and critical of Arrington, which received media circulation and criticism.[26][27] On August 1, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote a blog post apologizing for Airbnb's initially tepid response, and announcing a suite of features as part of the new Airbnb Safety Program: Airbnb Guarantee of $50,000 for hosts such as EJ who report property damage, a 24-hour customer hotline, a doubling of customer support, and more responsiveness to customer concerns.[28]
2011 July 24 Financial Airbnb raises $112 million in additional funding. The investment round is led by Andreessen Horowitz and other investors include DST Global Solutions and General Catalyst Partners.[29][30][31]
2011 October Funding, controversy An email allegedly written by Chamath Palihapitiya to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, that was critical of the manner in which Airbnb was structuring its funding round, is leaked to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.[32][33] A follow-up reveals that new aspects of the deal are in development that might alleviate some of the concerns expressed by Palihapitiya, and he is reconsidering his decision not to invest in the funding round. He also expressed regret about the email being leaked, and he said that he was not responsible for the leak.[34][35]
2011 October International expansion Airbnb opens up its second international office in London in the United Kingdom.[36]
2012 January Usage milestone Airbnb announces its 5 millionth booking.[37]
2012 (early year) International expansion Airbnb opens six international offices, in the cities Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Moscow, and São Paulo.[38] These are in addition to existing offices in San Francisco, London, Hamburg, and Berlin where Airbnb maintains its international presence for the EMEA markets within a German incubator space.[39]
2012 June Usage milestone Airbnb announces its 10 millionth booking.[40]
2012 July 25 Acquisition, international expansion Shortly before the 2012 Summer Olympics Airbnb acquires London-based rival CrashPadder, subsequently adding six thousand international listings to its existing inventory.[41]
2012 November 2 International expansion Airbnb co-founder and CEO Chesky announces his focus on Australia, the second largest Airbnb market behind the United States, as well as Thailand and Indonesia. To support this effort, Airbnb opens its 11th office in Sydney.[42] The Australian consumer accounts for one-tenth of the Airbnb user base.[43]
2012 November 12 International expansion Airbnb announces its strategy to move more aggressively into the Asian market with the launch of their newest headquarters in Singapore. The company's goal is to acquire an additional 2 million properties within the continent.[44]
2012 November 13 Acquisition Airbnb acquires NabeWise, a city guide that aggregates curated information for specified locations, in November 2012.[45] This acquisition shifts the company focus toward offering hyperlocal recommendations to travelers.[46]
2012 December 13 Acquisitions by Airbnb Airbnb announces the acquisition of Localmind.[47] Localmind is a location-based question and answer platform that allows users to post questions about specific locations online. These questions are then answered in real-time by experts on the specified territories.[48]
2013 September International expansion Airbnb announces that European headquarters would be located in Dublin, Ireland.[49]
2014 January 31 Partnerships Airbnb announces plans to partner with home cleaning services whereby the home cleaning service is available at a discount to those who are about to host people via Airbnb, in order to incentivize hosts to prepare homes well for guests and also give guests a more standardized experience. Prospective partners include Homejoy and Handybook.[50]
2014 March 14 Company Airbnb announces plans to open a new "operational headquarters" for North America in Portland, Oregon, in summer 2014, but indicated that its main North American headquarters would remain in San Francisco.[51]
2014 April (unofficial rumors), August 1 (announcement in SEC filing) Funding It is announced in April that Airbnb is getting an investment by TPG Capital at a valuation of approximately $10 billion. The amount of funding is variously reported as $450 million and $500 million.[52][53] On August 1, the round is revealed to be a $475 million round.[54][55]
2014 July 16 Product Airbnb reveals design revisions to their site and mobile app, and introduced a new logo.[56] Some consider the new icon to be visually similar to genitalia,[57] but a consumer survey by Survata shows only a minority of respondents thought this was the case.[58]
2014 July 21 Partnership Airbnb announces that its home cleaning trial will be in three cities, and lists Handybook as its sole partner. Homejoy, which had earlier been listed as a partner, is dropped.[59]
2014 July 28 Partnership Airbnb announces a parternship with Concur, an expense reporting service for businesses, to make it easier for business travelers to report Airbnb stays as business expenses.[60]
2014 September 17 Financial/legal Airbnb announces that it will start collecting and remitting a 14% tax for short-term rentals in San Francisco starting October 1.[61]
2014 October 23 Funding Airbnb announces arrangements for an employee stock sale. Valuations for the sale are rumored at around $13 billion.[62][63]
2014 October 27 Financial/legal San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signs a law making short-term rentals legal in San Francisco, thereby legalizing Airbnb. The law gets the moniker of "Airbnb law" because Airbnb is the most affected company.[64]
2014 November 3 Financial/legal Vacation rental company HomeAway sues San Francisco for the Airbnb Law.[65][66]
2014 November 20 Product Airbnb expands its liability insurance program for hosts and landlords. Whereas the initial liability insurance program was limited to property damage due to the guest, the new program $1 million worth of protection in the case a guest is accidentally injured anywhere in a host’s building or on their property during their stay. Rentals starting January 15, 2015 will automatically be covered under the new program.[67]
2015 January 30 Financial/legal Airbnb announes that it will start collecting taxes in Amsterdam, San Jose, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.[68]
2015 February 25 Partnership Airbnb announces a partnership with Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile, to have its app pre-installed on mobile phones in 13 countries. Those who register for the service via DT will get 30 euros of vouchers to stay in Airbnb rooms.[69]
2015 April 29 Product, accessibility Airbnb launches an official iPad app.[70]
2015 June 4 Product Airbnb adds a pricing recommendation tool, called Price Tips, offering suggestions on appropriate prices for people renting our apartments.[71]
2015 June 28 Financial Airbnb closes $1.5 billion in additional funding, bringing its funding total to $2.3 billion. The valuation for the round is $25.5 billion.[72] Both the amount raised and the valuation are higher than those originally projected when rumors of the round originally circulated in late February/early March (when the numbers were $1 billion and $20 billion respectively).[73][74]
2015 August 25 (announcement), October 1 (start date) Legal Airbnb announces that it will start collecting a tourist tax on Airbnb rentals in Paris starting October 1. The tax amount will be 0.83 euros per night.[75]
2015 September 3 Product Airbnb releases an app for the Apple Watch, whose main focus is to facilitate communication between guests and hosts.[76]
2015 September 11 Acquisition Airbnb announces its acquisition of Vamo, a company based in Seattle whose product is a multi-city trip planning app. The app would be shut down as part of the acquisition; the purpose of the acquisition is to use the team's expertise to help with the aspects of the user experience related to travel beyond just booking an Airbnb.[77][78]
2015 November 4 Financial/legal San Francisco voters vote No on Proposition F, a measure to restrict Airbnb rentals in the city.[79] In the run-up to the vote, Airbnb spent over $8 million in advertising to the public against the measure, whereas groups supporting Proposition F spent less than a million dollars.[80] As part of its advertising campaign, Airbnb put out ads highlighting the role that the $12 million in taxes paid by it has played in funding city operations, but the ads are perceived by many as tasteless, so the company withdraws them and apologizes.[81]
2015 November 12 Product, partnership Airbnb announces a new "Business Travel Ready" badge and host tools.[82]
2016 June Legal Airbnb sues the city of San Francisco over a new law that would require Airbnb to verify that their hosts are registered with the city.[83][84]
2016 July Funding Airbnb is reported to be raising $850 million at a $30 billion valuation.[85]
2016 August Legal The city of Barcelona cracks down on homes that are illegally rented out to tourists, including houses listed on Airbnb. In addition, Barcelona's town hall announces that it would fine Airbnb and HomeAway (a similar service).[86]
2016 September Acquisition Airbnb acquires the travel startup Trip4real.[87]
2016 October Competition Two Airbnb rivals, Wimdu and 9flats, consolidate in a merger.[88]
2016 October Legal Airbnb sues New York City over a new legislation that would make it illegal for Airbnb to display housing units that cannot be rented legally, and would also allow fines of up to $7,500 on hosts who rent out housing illegally. In its suit, Airbnb argues that the liability for rental listings belongs to the hosts who post them.[89][90][91][92]
2016 November Product Airbnb launches the "experiences" feature in the Airbnb app. This feature allows hosts to offer tours and events in addition to places to stay.[93]
2016 December 2 Legal Airbnb settles the lawsuit it filed against New York City. Airbnb agrees to drop the suit as long as the city fines only the hosts and not Airbnb.[94]
2017 January Humanitarian aid Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweets that the company will give free housing to refugees and any others not allowed into the United States as a result of President Trump's executive order to temporarily ban refugees from the United States.[95][96]
2017 February Acquisition Airbnb aquires Luxury Retreats, an Airbnb-like service for high-end homes and premium vacation homes. The deal is reported to be $200–$300 million. As of the time of the deal, it is Airbnb's largest acquisition.[97][98]
2017 March 9 Financial Airbnb closes a US$1 billion Series F of investment funding round and reaches value at around US$31 billion.[99][100][101][102][103]
2017 March 20 Product Airbnb launches in New York City a new initiative called Trips, which consists in bookable, local-led tours, known as Experiences, aimed to “go beneath the surface and help guests discover local treasures that typical guidebooks and tours might miss.” The first NYC-based tours roll out in Harlem.[104]
2017 April 7 User expulsion Airbnb bans host in Big Bear Lake, California, for canceling Asian guest’s reservation due to her Asian ethnicity. The host made a racist remark and referenced President Donald Trump.[105][106][107][108] Later, in July, the host would be ordered to pay US$5,000 in damages for racial discrimination and take a course in Asian American studies.[109][110][111]
2017 April 14 Security Airbnb adds new set of mandatory security measures, including multi-factor authentication, to prevent scammers from hijacking hosts. Users now have to authenticate every new phone, tablet or computer they log into by typing in the unique code Airbnb sends them via text or email.[112][113][114]
2017 April 28 Product Airbnb adds a new search filter for business travelers. To qualify, business users must register their work email address with their Airbnb account. Then, when they search, they can toggle “Business Travel Ready” in the filter menu.[115]
2017 May 22 Notable user Swedish official tourism group Visit Sweden lists the entire country on Airbnb. The campaign makes use of a constitutional right that allows anyone in Sweden the right to access, walk, cycle, or camp on any land (the only exceptions being private residences, as well as gardens and lands under cultivation).[116][117][118][119]
2017 June 7 Humanitarian aid Airbnb launches its Open Homes platform, an initiative aimed at providing short-term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need. It is considered a reaction to Donald Trump's Executive Order 13769, which bans travel from six predominantly Muslim countries. The Open Homes platform would be able to connect organizations like the International Rescue Committee, Singa Quebec, Inland Refugee Society of British Columbia, and SolidarityNow with available rooms. In total, seven nonprofits are linked into the new platform.[120][121][122][123]
2017 June 22 Product Airbnb launches a new premium service meant to attract higher-paying travelers, segmenting upscale properties into their own category for the first time. The included listings would be officially inspected by Airbnb to make sure the homes meet designated standards, which include new and matching bedding, single-use toiletries, available bottled water, tea, coffee, and other amenities generally found at hotels.[124][125]
2017 July 10 Controversy A South African tourist is hospitalized in Amsterdam after being pushed down a flight of stairs by her Airbnb host. Airbnb announces assistance to police with investigations.[126][127][128]
2017 July 27 Partnership Airbnb partners with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in order to conduct targeted outreach to communities of color to help more people use their homes to earn extra income. By increasing the number of travelers to communities of color, the partnership is expected to spread the economic benefits of tourism.[129][130]
2017 August User expulsion Airbnb removes users who were using the service to book venues as part of the Unite the Right rally, a white supremacist rally that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia.[131][132]
2017 October 12 Partnership Airbnb partners with Newgard Development Group with the purpose to build in Miami an apartment complex with 324 units specifically designed for home-sharing. The partnership marks the first time Airbnb works with a property developer.[133][134][135][136]
2017 November 28 Product payment system Airbnb launches payment splitting for group trips, which allows the trip organizer to make a booking for a property that accepts split payments across a maximum of 16 people. Their credit card would be charged for their portion of the stay, with a lapse of 72 hours to pay their share.[137][138][139][140]
2017 November 28 Partnership The Indian National Skill Development Corporation and the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council sign a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbnb to provide hospitality skills training to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India. Through the partnership, the three organizations are expected to create an accredited skill development module for hospitality entrepreneurs offering homestay facilities, unique accommodations and local experience.[141]
2017 December 11 Product Airbnb announces addition of virtual reality and augmented reality to its services with the purpose to give prospective renters a better sense of the space they're renting. 3D scans would allow guests to take virtual tours of properties before they book, and use AR to enhance their experience upon arrival.[142][143]
2018 January 16 Product payment system Airbnb announces new tool letting users reserve accommodation by paying 50 percent upfront and 50 percent before they arrive. Before this, Airbnb users had to pay 100 percent of their booking up front. Requirements are that rental has to be booked 14 days before check-in, and must cost at least US$250.[144][145][146]
2018 January Leadership American business executive Ken Chenault, longtime CEO of American Express, is announced to join Airbnb’s board of directors in Aurbnb's first board expansion. Chenault is the first board member who is neither an Airbnb executive nor a venture backer.[147][148]
2018 February 8 Partnership Airbnb announces partnership with SiteMinder, a leading cloud platform for hotels, to allow boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts to list on Airbnb site through a third-party distribution service.[149][150]
2018 February 22 Product Airbnb launches Airbnb Plus, a hotel-like tier of service aimed at offering higher-end accommodations that meet a determined standard (kitchens with cookware, plush towels, comfortable mattresses, etc). The service launches to mark Airbnb’s 10th anniversary. More than 2,000 properties are first listed across 13 cities, including Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, and Toronto.[151][152][153][154]
2018 May 24 Product Airbnb launches 'Travel Stories' on its site and app, a feature very similar to Instagram Stories, for travelers to share their photos and videos from their trip directly. Like Instagram, users are able to geo-tag where they are in each photo.[155][156]
2018 July 11 Study Study from researchers at Purdue University finds Airbnb benefits local economies in white neighborhoods, unlike their black or Latino counterparts. White areas are the ones most likely to benefit from an influx of Airbnb guests, who spend money locally and boost businesses in areas where tourism is not already prevalent.[157][158]
2018 August 15 Humanitarian aid Airbnb announces a total of US$10 million in donation to seven select charities, including The New York Immigration Coalition, New York Mortgage Coalition, New York State Rural Housing Coalition Inc., Win, GMHC, CSNYC and Abyssinian Development Corporation. Airbnb states it is a symbolic gesture to show some of New York City and New York State tax revenues could generate if short-term rentals were allowed.[159][160]
2018 September 12 Humanitarian aid Airbnb activates its "Open Homes" program to offer up their guest houses and extra bedrooms to "displaced neighbors" and "relief workers deployed to help" during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence a Cape Verde hurricane approaching the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have all declared states of emergency, and many of the states' highways are directing cars one way: west. More than 131 apartments, entire homes, and rooms available in Atlanta, Charlotte, Greensboro, Columbia, and other cities, are listed on Airbnb's site for just $0.[161][162][163][164]
2018 November 16 Financial Airbnb releases some finances prior to its expected 2019 IPO, recognizing over US$1 billion in revenue for the third quarter.[165][166]
2018 November 19 Legal Airbnb announces removal of its listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, following the illegal status of the settlements under International law. The decision is welcomed by Palestinians, while the state of Israel calls it "shameful" and threatens legal action.[167][168][169][170]
2018 November 28 Legal A group of American Jews sue Airbn in federal court, accusing the company of religious discrimination over its decision to remove listings for about 200 homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.[171][172][173]
2018 November 29 Product Airbnb introduces "Backyard", an initiative aimed at providing people with prototypes of different styles of pre-fabricated homes, which could be set up in people's backyards or be freestanding houses. These homes are also meant to minimize waste and maximize eco-friendly building.[174][175][176]
2018 December 7 Financial Airbnb announces it has paid US$1 billion in taxes on behalf of hosts over the past four and a half years.[177]
2019 January 25 Acquisition Airbnb acquires Danish startup Gaest, which provides a platform for business people to book off-site spaces for meetings and events.[178][179]
2019 February 10 Legal The City of Paris sues Airbnb for publishing 1,000 illegal rentals adverts, with city Mayor seeking 12.5 million-euro fine for site’s listings. Under local law, home owners in Paris can rent out their places on short-term rental platforms for up to 120 days in a year.[180][181][182]
2019 March 7 Acquisition Airbnb acquires travel app HotelTonight, which lets travelers arrange last-minute accommodations. The deal price is reported at a little more than US$400 million.[183][184][185][186]
2019 April 10 Legal Airbnb reverses ban on rental listings of homes located inside Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, settling legal action brought by hosts, potential hosts and guests against the firm. Israeli lawyers had filed a class action suit against Airbnb in November 2018 immediately after the Airbnb ban. The company also announces it will not profit off rental listings, donating them instead to non-profits focused on humanitarian aid in different parts of the world.[187][188][189][190]
2019 May 16 Leadership Airbnb adds former Apple Inc. retail chief Angela Ahrendts to board of directors, as it prepares for an initial public offering.[191]
2019 May 22 Partnership Airbnb partners with genetic testing company 23andMe with aims at helping people interested in traveling to study their family heritage, with each company promoting such trips.[192][193]
2019 June 13 Product Airbnb launches Airbnb Adventures, a multiday tour service lasting between three days and a week, including natural and cultural trips around the world.[194][195]
2019 June 20 Competition/controversy Ten European cities (Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna) address to the European Union in a joint letter, demanding more help in their "battle" against Airbnb and other holiday rental websites, which they argue are "locking locals out of housing and changing the face of neighbourhoods".[196][197][198][199]
2019 July 22 Product Airbnb introduces new search tools for business travelers, adding a special filter for stays on business trips. With this tool, instead of asking users if they travel for business, the service offers a work trip toggle that can be selected at the beginning of the search.[200][201][202]
2019 August 5 Acquisition Airbnb acquires Urbandoor, a San Francisco-based company that offers extended stays to corporate clients.[203][204]
2019 September 21 Financial Airbnb announces going public in 2020.[205][206][207]

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